The Matakana Faery

Written by Maquaela Adria

There is no easy way to tell the story that I am about to disclose. How would anyone find it easy to speak of lies, murder, and dark magic? But alas, this is a story that needs to be told and I am the one who needs to tell it. So pour yourself some tea and make yourself comfortable as I tell you the truth about the Matakana Faery.

******

The night was still and quiet back in March of 1838. The only sound heard by Phillip Ripton was his wife tossing and turning next to him. Every so often he would hear her mumble words that he could not understand. After listening for a while he came to the conclusion that she was having a conversation in her dream in a language that was foreign to him. Just as he was about to settle back down and sleep, Lauren jerked suddenly and screamed. When she calmed, he checked her vitals and gently shook her awake.

Moisture. That's all Lauren felt as she woke to the sound of her husband Phillip calling her name and shaking her awake. Realizing that it covered both her body and the bed sheets, Lauren knew that it was only sweat. This one fact immediately alerted her to the fact that she either had another nightmare or her fever was high again. By the troubled look in Phillip's eyes, she could tell that it was the latter.

'My love, I think it best if you try to stay awake tonight.’ Phillip stated. ‘I could barely feel you breathing through the sheets and when I tried to check your pulse it was so faint.’

‘Phillip,’ Lauren cut in. ‘Please stop fretting. It causes more harm than good.’

Phillip looked at his wife in the candlelight and gave her a soft smile. ‘I guess you're right.’ After giving her a light kiss on her forehead he lifted himself off the bed and stood up. ‘I'll go and fetch you some water.’

‘Thank you,’ Lauren mumbled as she slowly drifted back into a sleeping state. Her eyes followed her husband as he exited their bedchamber. After he was out of sight, Lauren allowed herself to be pulled back into the abyss of sleep. Just as her eyes shut, a small chorus of whispers floated in the room.

‘Lauren.’ they called. ‘We're here for you, Lauren. We've been watching you, Lauren. We're waiting for you, Lauren.’

‘Who are you?’ Lauren spoke clearly into the night. ‘What do you want with me?’

‘We will not harm you, Lauren. We do not want that for you. You will be with us soon. We want you to be with us.’

‘I don't know what you mean by “be with us”. Who are you?’ Lauren repeated.

‘All that you need to know right now is that you are dying. There is nothing that can save you as you are now.’ the voices chorused.

‘How do you know all of this?’ Lauren cried out. She was struggling to move, to open her eyes and look at the owners of the voices, but her body seemed to be in some sort of paralysis.

‘He's killing you Lauren. You don't know it but he's killing you. He's doing it with water Lauren! You don't see it, smell it or taste it but it can kill you. You can't be saved, Lauren. Not like this.’ It was then that Lauren decided to give up struggling and give in to whatever was telling her what she was hearing.

‘So what are you trying to say? Are you telling me that Phillip is trying to kill me?’ Lauren's question hung in the air.

‘No, not Phillip. Phillip can help you get to us. Phillip is good. Phillip is not trying to kill you, it is the one that suffered most from the famine back in the old land. He blames you and your family for the death of his own. He wants revenge.’

‘I have no clue of whom you are speaking,’ Lauren sighed out of exasperation. If she was being slowly poisoned, she wanted to know by whom so that she could haunt them from the other side.

‘Phillip knows.’ the voices replied. ‘He hears and he knows. Now sleep child, you shall soon be free.’ With those words, Lauren drifted off into the most peaceful slumber that she'd ever had.

Unbeknownst to his wife, Phillip had made his way back to the bedchamber and was standing at the door. Bewitched by the same magic as Lauren, he was unable to move although he had one advantage over her. He could see the owners of the voices. As soon as the beings disappeared, he moved to the desk, lit a candle and started to sketch. He did not want to forget what he'd just witnessed.

As soon as he had finished, Phillip placed the glass of water on his bedside, returned to the soft, cotton sheets and thought of all the things he'd overheard the creatures saying. What did it mean that I know whose poisoning Lauren? He thought. I do not know anyone that fits the... It was then that something clicked in his mind and a name surfaced: Kyle Moran. The person killing his wife was Kyle Moran the bartender.

It was a well-known fact in their small village that Kyle Moran had a Vendetta against Lauren’s family. Ever since his whole family had been killed in a fire that had burned down the old Matakana church during a wedding, Kyle had put the blame on Lauren and her family, the only ones to survive. Kyle had seemed harmless enough as his hatred had never been shown as more than a heckle here and there. It was because of this that Kyle Moran had not come to Phillip’s mind immediately.

******

Phillip was not proud of what he was about to do but he wasn't ashamed of it either. Since he had learned the truth behind his wife's ill fate, he had been unable to fall asleep. Three days passed and each night was the same. Finally, he decided that the only way for him to move past everything was to confront Kyle about the poisoning.

Three sleepless nights meant three nights of plotting and figuring out the details of what he was about to do and how he was going to do it. Phillip's main focus was trying to remain inconspicuous to his wife.

On the day of the intended confrontation, Phillip had taken ill with a severe case of the flu. He initially shrugged it off and went about his day in hopes of being well by nightfall, but after a visit from the doctor, he was placed on bed rest for a week. Every night he was visited by the spirits that came to Lauren and they told him everything. They taught him how to save her soul. They made him believe.

It was only after he returned to full health that he heard the news. On the night in which he was meant to confront Kyle, he had been murdered in an alleyway outside the bar.

It was almost a year later when the faeries visited again. Although in bad shape, Lauren had made it through the New Year and into 1839.

‘Lauren, it's time. Lauren, you need to come with us now. Let yourself go, Lauren.’ The strange creatures whispered in the middle of the night. ‘Phillip is going to help you.’

‘I'm scared.’ Lauren whispered back. Suddenly, she was filled with a warmth that could only be described as a phantom hug.

‘Lauren, there is no need to be scared. The spirits, the faeries, they've explained everything to me. You were always meant to be one of them. Faeries are the spirits of the purest people that have left the earth too soon. You'll be fine. It will all be okay. I promise.’ Phillip croaked out. From the dim candle light, Lauren could barely see his face but she knew that there were tears in his eyes.

‘I can't leave you.’ she mumbled. ‘I won't.’

‘Lauren, it's either we do this and you live on in another form or I let you die and be buried, never to be seen again. I can't do the latter. I refuse too, especially because there is another option.’

‘Lauren, we need to do this now.’ The faeries whispered.

‘O-okay,’ she stuttered.

‘Lay down.’ Phillip ordered gently and Lauren complied. He then got up from where he was sitting at the edge of the bed and walked towards the spirit who handed him something that looked like a tea caddy

Taking a deep breath he closed his eyes and recited the words that he'd heard every night while he was sick. ‘Give your spirit over to thee, sealed in this vessel of oak. From your homeland, this I command.’ The second time the spirits joined in.

‘Give your spirit over to thee, sealed in this vessel of oak. From your homeland, this I command.’

‘Give your spirit over to thee, sealed in this vessel of oak. From your homeland, this I command.’ 

It was at that exact moment that a key formed in the keyhole and the caddy unlocked itself. Inside was a small phial full of a purple liquid and on a small roll of parchment was a simple instruction. Drink.

‘Are you ready Lauren?’ Phillip asked.

‘I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Phillip –' she started but her words got caught in her throat.

‘I know.’ he said and lightly kissed her forehead as the light of the new moon infiltrated their small bedroom.

‘Now Phillip.’

Taking a deep breath Phillip lifted the phial to Lauren's mouth and she did as commanded and drank from it. Immediately all the candles in the room went out and all Phillip heard was a sigh from his wife. She was gone.

******

It was not until a month later that Phillip knew that it had worked. He was on his way home from work and was making a detour through the cemetery where they had buried Lauren's body. Suddenly he got the feeling that he was being watched. He turned back to check and caught sight of something he thought he would never see.

In the body of a sprite, he saw his wife's eyes staring at him. A small smile found its way to his face and he knew that it was all going to be okay. After placing a single white rose on Lauren's grave, he left the Matakana cemetery and walked home.